The opioid abuse epidemic has reached all time critical levels. We are facing a public health and safety crisis that has been largely ignored and under reported for far too long. Fear of legal ramifications, social ridicule, and harsh stigmas create a massive roadblock in the fight to end substance abuse and save lives.
Across the country we fight the current opioid abuse epidemic as best we can: arming first responders with Naloxone, cracking down on drug trafficking, gaining funding of local public services for education and rehabilitation. While those efforts have saved some, on the grand scale it’s time we realized that’s just not working.
We’ve placed a band-aid on a wound that continues to kill us.
In an effort to unite the country in the battle to end the opioid and heroin abuse crisis, President Obama has officially declared this week- September 18th to the 24th- Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. This declaration comes along with an increased focus by members of the Cabinet and other federal agencies on creating real solutions to the epidemic.
President Obama also called for Congress to approve $1.1 Billion in new funding for programs providing public services combating the epidemic.
That Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week is within National Recovery Month is a testament to how important it is to be vocal and involved in this worthy cause. As we’ve noted many times before, we can no longer afford to pretend addiction is something we don’t have to worry about.
It’s time we band together to dispel the stigmas, banish the misinformation, and heal our neighborhoods, our communities, and our country.